A group of Indigenous peoples have gathered to occupy the traditional land in Victoria Park since June 21 for ceremonial use. Their goals are to have the land recognized as a space for cultural and ceremonial gatherings. The Land Back Camp also gathered on July 1, not to celebrate Canada Day, but to sing, dance and speak according to their Facebook page.
“This day is a reminder of what was taken from us. We are NOT Canadians. We are INDIGENOUS!” their Facebook event page stated.
“…Donations will go towards art projects, medicines, cultural workshops and honorariums for Elders. They will also support basic camp supplies. Your support and donations allows us to do this incredibly important work, work that will profoundly benefit our community. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of this community. We are in this together,” according to their Go Fund Me Page.
We would like to thank Amy Smoke and the other organizers who gave TCE permission to spend time with the group and take photos for this series.
Melissa is the former editor in chief of the Community Edition. You may have seen her around town asking people what excites them locally. When not writing, she's usually obsessively listening to music while hanging with her grumpy cat Hansel. A mental health advocate, you'll find her meditating or playing outdoors — climbing rocks and trees, hiking local trails, freediving and surfing in the ocean. "There’s something so healing about water. Water, trees, sunshine and fresh air are what we all need."
Follow on IG or Twitter @melissaembury